Monday, June 17, 2013

Green Wave Arms Race

It's nice to see a pitching prospect at Tulane with a sense of humor.

Two months ago, in a piece on Hall of Fame basketball coach Greg Popovich, Joe Posnanski relayed a tale you may remember:
Someone asks him how he knew Tony Parker would be able to develop so many new skills as a player, Popovich muses: “Sometimes, you look to see if the player has a sense of humor. It’s a long season.”

Now, see, that’s a fascinating thought. Have you ever heard a coach or scout say that one thing they look for is a sense of humor? But, if you think about it, yes, it makes perfect sense. It IS a long season. And think about how much a sense of humor, an ability to not let the moment’s problems grow too large or too serious, could help a player deal with the madness of an NBA season.
Substitute "MLB" for "NBA" and the statement remains true.

It would be great if Tulane's Ian Gibaut made it to the big leagues one day. Gibaut just finished his Freshman year with numbers as good as, or better, than current Yankee relief pitcher and fellow Tulane alum, Preston Claiborne. Before we get to the numbers, here's the prank that brought us here in the first place:

He doesn't look like it in that video, but Ian Gibaut is listed at 6'3" 215 lb, a similar weight to 6'2" Claiborne. In case you aren't familiar with Preston "Roy" Claiborne, he has been excellent so far in the big leagues:

Freshman Year Stats at Tulane
Preston Claiborne (2007)
45 2/3 ip
2.36 ERA
2 Saves
9.3 H/9
2.6 BB/9
8.9 K/9

Ian Gibaut (2013)
40 2/3 ip
2.66 ERA
12 Saves
7.8 H/9
4.0 BB/9
8.4 K/9

Ian Gibaut received the recognition of a prospect outside of elite circles. He was named to the 2012 Texas All-Region 2nd Team. Gibaut's walk rate is an easy red flag to spot in his Freshman numbers. The young man should improve his command before bragging about his command on social media:

Ian Gibaut wasn't drafted out of Lamar High School in Houston, but that could have been due to his high likelihood of attending Tulane. He'll next be eligible in the 2015 MLB Draft.

Five of Gibaut's Green Wave teammates, three pitchers, were drafted in last week's 2013 MLB Draft. The first Green Wave player selected was Senior David Napoli, the Washington Nationals' 8th round selection. In his Tulane career, Napoli started 27 games and relieved in 35 others. Napoli graduated with a 3.64 ERA, 7.8 H/9, 4.7 BB/9, 7.1 K/9 career line.

As for the prank itself, personally we'd be pretty upset if something like this happened to us. In spite of Popovich's endorsement for sense-of-humor, Gibaut will need to show better judgement to pro scouts in the future. Officially, we encourage more judicious behavior, read: DO NOT ATTEMPT. Still, if more ballplayers want to pull pranks and share them on Twitter and Vine, we're all for the free entertainment. Just don't injure any Cubs or players on our roto teams.

What do you think? Is Gibaut's prank fair or foul?

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